Political stability required for higher growth, says ICCB

Bangladesh economy, over the past decade, has maintained a healthy 6%-plus growth rate, despite global shocks. Sustained growth has generated higher demand for improved infrastructure including uninterrupted power supply, better transport and telecommunication services. All these require increased private investment, according to ICCB Executive Board Report.

ICCB Annual Council PhotoIn the budget of current fiscal, the government has set 7.3% growth target. To achieve the target, according to ADB, the total investment should be around 34.3 % from the present level of 28.7 per cent of GDP. The Bank blamed lower than expected level of investment as principal reason for growth deficit in Bangladesh, the report said.

According to the World Bank, the economic growth would be supported this year and afterwards by continued robust remittances and recovery in private consumption demand, but political stability would be vital to its sustainability, the Annual Council report added.

It has been observed by the trade body that Bangladesh is on the way to become middle income country by 2021, but to attain this the country must increase its investment, GDP growth and industrial contribution to the economy. The on-going political unrest may deal a blow to the vision for becoming a middle income country by 2021 as it will be difficult to increase the required industrial contribution of 35 per cent of GDP, one of the important factors to achieve the target.

Before five years industrial contribution to GDP was 22 per cent, but it rose to 28 per cent last year. The per capita income, presently at $1190, is going to reach $1450 in 2021. Investment is very important to achieve the middle income status. Presently, GDP growth is 6.3 per cent. It needs to go up to 8.5 per cent.

However, the unstable political situation that has started from the beginning of the year will have an adverse effect on the economy if prolonged. We must, therefore, work together to overcome all hurdles and come out of the stagnant 6 % GDP growth, the ICC Bangladesh Annual Council observed.

The Council adopted the Executive Board Report & Audited Financial Statements of ICC Bangladesh for the year ended 31st December.

Among others, ICCB Vice President Latifur Rahman; DCCI President Hossain Khaled; ICCB Board Members AmCham President Aftab ul Islam; BGMEA President Atiqul Islam; CCCI President Mahbubul Alam; BIA Chairman Sheikh Kabir Hossain; A.S.M.Quasem; Mahbub Jamil;R. Maksud Khan; Barrister Rafiq ul Huq; Kutubuddin Ahmed & Waliur Rahman Bhuiyan, OBE; ICCB Members M. Ghaziul Haque, Chairman, Transmarine Logistics Ltd.; M. A. Awal, Chairman, Prime Textile Spinning Mills Limited; Salahuddin Kasem Khan, Managing Director, A. K. Khan & Company Ltd.; Nasir A. Chowdhury, Adviser, Green Delta Insurance Co. Ltd.; Ishtiaque Ahmed Chowdhury, Managing Director, Trust Bank Limited; Mr. Muhammad A. (Rumee) Ali, Advisor to the Executive Director, BRAC Bank; Barrister Fida Mohammad Kamal; Abu Alam Chowdhury, Managing Director, CONEXPO Limited; Md. Khalilur Rahman, Managing Director, National Housing Finance and Investments Limited; Ashraf H. Chowdhury, CCAO, Airtel; Sujon Kumar Saha, Chairman & Managing Director, BASF as well as MDs/CEOs and senior officials of banks, insurance companies, national and multinational companies attended the Council.


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